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  • Morning Bell: Egypt and the Failure of the Obama Doctrine

    Hundreds of Egyptians determined to drive President Hosni Mubarak from power spent all last night in Tahrir Square to keep the military from taking over the plaza. Today marks the seventh day of unrest in Egypt as the U.S. State Department began chartering evacuation flights for thousands of U.S. citizens stranded in the country. The longer the protests continue to rage, the more danger there will be that the army will wither into the crowds, throwing Egypt—and the region—into potentially violent chaos.

    On Sunday, the military raised its presence, sending a column of tanks to enter Tahrir Square and buzzing the crowds with fighter jets. These actions came a day after the country’s most notorious prisons, Abu Zaabal and Wadi Natroun, were emptied of criminals and Islamic militants; uniformed police forces have all but disappeared (but appear to be trickling back to their posts today). Only the army and roving bands of armed vigilantes are in charge. With all but a few businesses closed and the economy at a complete standstill, it is unclear how long this standoff can last. One banner in Tahrir Square read: “The army has to choose between Egypt and Mubarak.”

    There is a danger that the protests could lead to less, not greater, liberty in Egypt. While many of the groups organizing the protests (such as the April 6 Movement) do use pro-democracy rhetoric, there are powerful forces in the country that harbor Islamist goals that are incompatible with genuine democracy, including the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood. As Egypt’s biggest and best-organized political group, the Brotherhood will be well-positioned to hijack a revolt.

    Some in the West are hoping that former IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei can emerge as a leader of the opposition. There are even reports that the Muslim Brotherhood may endorse ElBaradei’s leadership. But ElBaradei’s hold on power is extremely weak. The New York Times reports that the crowd’s reaction to a Sunday speech by ElBaradei was mixed, with one Muslim Brotherhood supporter telling the Times: “ElBaradei doesn’t live here and doesn’t know us. We need a leader who can understand Egyptians.” For his part, ElBaradei seems completely out of touch with what the Brotherhood represents, telling ABC’s Christiane Amanpour: “The Muslim Brotherhood is in no way extremist.”

    The Obama Administration’s response so far has been slow and they have sent mixed signals. On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden denied that President Mubarak was a dictator and stated that Mubarak should not step aside. And on Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.” But yesterday she appeared on Fox News and urged the start of an “orderly transition” to bring about a “democratic, participatory government” while stopping short of calling for Mubarak’s ouster.

    The Obama Administration has been slow to embrace calls for liberty in Egypt is completely consistent with the Obama Doctrine as applied in the Middle East. When the Iranian people rose against the regime in Tehran in the wake of a disputed national election, Obama offered virtually no support for the cries for freedom. He was too committed to his engagement strategy with the Iranian regime, believing his “charm offensive” would be enough to deter them from pursuing nuclear weapons. Those efforts have completely failed. Nevertheless, the “playing nice initiative” with Tehran fell flat. Today, the regime is more aggressive than ever—backing a terrorist takeover of the government in Lebanon, snubbing Western nuclear negotiators, and promoting an Islamist agenda across the region. As Elliott Abrams, who coordinated the Bush Administration’s Middle East policy at the National Security Council, wrote in The Washington Post:

    This has been the greatest failure of policy and imagination in the administration’s approach: Looking at the world map, it sees states and their rulers, but has forgotten the millions of people suffering under and beginning to rebel against those rulers. “Engagement” has not been the problem, but rather the administration’s insistence on engaging with regimes rather than with the people trying to survive under them.

    To give Egyptians the greatest possible prospects for liberty, the Obama Administration should change course and press any government that emerges to:

    • Pledge to minimize the use of force and the loss life in its efforts to restore order;
    • Agree to open up the political system to allow meaningful participation by Egyptian citizens in forming a representative government; and
    • Restore Internet service and access to the world.

    The Obama Administration should review U.S. assistance to Egypt and make further assistance contingent upon undertaking these actions.

    Quick Hits:

    • Moody’s Investors Service cut its rating on Egypt’s sovereign debt on Monday, saying the government might damage its already weak finances by increasing social spending.
    • South Sudan has voted to secede from the north.
    • Pakistan has doubled its deployed nuclear weapons over the past several years.
    • President Obama’s science czar John Holdren said there’s a need to “educate” GOP climate change skeptics on Capitol Hill.
    • According to Gallup, about seven in 10 adults say it is important that Republican leaders in Congress take the Tea Party movement’s positions and objectives into account as they address the nation’s problems.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    49 Responses to Morning Bell: Egypt and the Failure of the Obama Doctrine

    1. Jeff Dover says:

      Obama has demonstrated incompetence in every area of his purview with the exception of getting deleterious legislation passed over the objections of the nation.

      Isn't this grounds for impeachment? Isn't he derelict in his duty to the nation and his pledge to defend the constitution? Mere action doesn't constitute competence. Wouldn't his malfeasance be easy to prove?

    2. Robert, North Richla says:

      Just when we think we have problems, something like this Egypt mess comes around. Egypt has provided 'enough' stability to keep the area from becoming a total war zone in the last 30 years. The worst-case scenario is way beyond Obama and anyone in his 'administration.' If this scenario plays out, Congress should move to impeach Obama, so we can start acting like The United States of America, again. Maybe it's situations like this that motivated the Saudis to purchase the presidency in the first place.

    3. GenEarly says:

      This will not turn out well, based on the track record of the middle east. Decades ago Christians were purged from the once prosperous and peaceful country of Lebanon. Muslim Purists continue to expand across the region,eliminating any opposition including other Muslims who aren't fanatical enough to suit them. Israel has been abandoned by Obama, Iraq is becoming a province of Iran,Lebanon is controlled by the Iranian Syrian Axis along with Gaza.Turkey is now radicalized AND a member of NATO; How long will that last? Jordan will be next. Egypt will have a brief "coalition" before the Muslim Brotherhood seizes control. Sudan is already radicalized.Yemen is a failed state on the border of Saudia Arabia which is already a Wahhabi Terrorist State, pretending to befriend the West. Libya has a terrorist leader, Tunisia is filling up with the "peaceful" Islamists, Morocco is experiencing growing tensions. Britain and France which have huge 5th column Muslim terrorists as "citizens". All is Well ! Uuuh, The "O" is in charge after all Hussein is his middle name that should appease for awhile.

    4. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Conn – I agree that Obama dropped the ball with Iran's elections – pretty pathetic response to the cries for democracy. However, this is not just about democracy, it is also about the Suez Canal. Obama is walking the tightrope and if the Suez Canal becomes controlled by hostile forces we are in a world of hurt. To borrow from the Obama administration – we should not left this crisis go to waste, The ban on drilling should be lifted and we should tap into our natural resources WHILE alternate energy sources are developed. Otherwise, the recent recession will seem like a Sunday school picnic compared the depression that will occur if our energy prices skyrocket because of the takeover of the Suez.

    5. Audrey Enzor Mississ says:

      I think the USA should stay out of Egypt's political turmoil and STOP the funding of every Nation on the Planet.

      After all, "Charity begins at home" and the Middle East has been fighting since time began……..let's face it, we cannot


      Why place the lives of our citizens in danger?

      Thank you.


    6. Doug Whaley, Lake Ha says:

      My prediction:

      Obama's policies are going to turn the middle east into a total tinder box causing oil prices to sky rocket on the prospect of total caos in the region. The result will be economic melt down in the the U. S. and most of the rest of the world. Russia will benefit because of their oil. China will become much more aggressive like Japan did prior to WWII to secure the oil it needs for it's future growth. The U.S. will either melt down totally economically or hopefully abandon the liberal policies of the environmental wackos and start supplying their own oil through aggressive drilling expansion which could lead us out of the economic malaise we are currently in. Iran will become a client state of China and get the money it needs to be a nuclear power in the middle east surpassing Israel as the dominant power there and if their current leadership isn't toppled will start WWIII.

    7. Southern Hoosier, Gr says:

      For his part, ElBaradei seems completely out of touch with what the Brotherhood represents, telling ABC’s Christiane Amanpour: “The Muslim Brotherhood is in no way extremist.”

      Either he honestly does not view the Brotherhood as extremist, which says a lot about him, or he see them as extremist but will say what it takes to get their suppot, which also says a lot about him

    8. Fred, Reno,NV says:

      In that Obama won't stand up for including the people of our own country in the debate about our future, why would he stand up for the rights of Egyptians. The most likely outcome of this is going to be another Iran mess. Our president could help to shape a better outcome, but like Jimmy Carter before him, our president is not motivated by preserving freedom around the world. One more nation lost to Muslim control is one more step toward our own demise.

    9. Bruce J. Kolinski says:

      I love the Clintonian, CFR, puppet on a string subtlety of proposing yet another democracy. Mob rule assures another solid home for Islamic Twelvers and Iranian manipulation. Stateswomanship at this level guarantees $5 gas at the U.S. pump as soon as possible and the unfettered gathering of forces for World War III.

      All this while our own ignorantly elected Congress bankrupts our country, collectivizes our industry (what's left of it), destroys our currency and reduces the U.S. to a small time Venezuelan wannbe.

      Another Bilderberg Grand Slam home run. It's amazing the level of destruction an education system designed to dumb down a population can accomplish. If our kids are smarter than us – and they are – they'll have to fight the revolution of 1776 all over again if they wish to escape the feudal system of economic slavery our generation is currently creating.

      This is truly embarrassing and worse – we'll soon be hungry on Main Street. Obamacare will soon cease to be an issue. Martial law will be the issue. At this point, one wonders what the probability of a Constitutionally legal 2012 election in the U.S. might be? 10%? 20%? You tell me.

    10. Spiff, USA says:

      I should come as no surprise that we do not have a Foreign Affairs policy from Pres. Obama as he has no idea how the real world works, and has allowed his Sec. of State Clinton to replace him in these, and other, foreign matters. His "on the job training" is coming to an end and Hillary Clinton is slowly, stealthy, replacing him!


    11. Roger TN says:

      So another surprise to the administration. Where the heck is the CIA, State Department and other people looking after this region? Albaredei is supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, that couldn't come back and bite us could it?

    12. Jjay - Louisville, K says:

      the most subversive acts of all…

      …an egyptian protestor kisses a riot control officer…

      …military begins to put down their weapons and shields to join the power of the people…

      …Mubarak sees his base crumbling through the persistence of nonviolent resistance…

      "…when the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace…"

      ~ jimi hendrix

      Look for the power of this nonviolent movement rather than promoting the hatred of some misguided "Muslims" ( and "Christians").

    13. George (Oldguy), Wes says:

      I listened to Hillary explain why the Egyptian people are in the streets. It seems, according to Hillary, they want redress for their grievences! The Tea Party wants our government to do the same here and we are dismissed and called names.

      Also, the administration wants to support the Egyptian people, but it also wants to support Muburak. I wonder why that isn't working! Perhaps Joe Biden can help explain it>

    14. Carol Bee, Salt Lake says:

      I find it very ironic that President Obama is asking Congress for the authority to shut down the Internet in the U.S. during an emergency, yet he calls for Hosni Mubarek to restore it during their crisis. And even more disturbing is the fact that people who worked for his campaign and the State Department have been since 2008, in fact, fomenting since dissent the very revolution we are witnessing today.

      John Holdren is the one who needs to be educated and fired from this administration. He is a radical who has no semblance of human feelings.

    15. Jjay - Louisville, K says:

      …an egyptian protestor kisses a riot control officer…

      …soldiers begin to put down their weapons and shields to join the power they see in the people…

      …another unelected ruler sees his base crumbling through the persistence of nonviolent resistance…

      Look for the power of this nonviolent movement rather than promoting the hatred of some misguided "Muslims" ( and those calling themselves "Christians").

      "…when the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace…"

      ~ jimi hendrix

    16. J Hartsock, Santa Ba says:

      Don't all governments have the ability to shut down internet when they are threatened, including US.

    17. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      Your commentary is, as usual, excellent. Keep in mind the failures of international diplomacy were not started by Obama. Our failures have a long history including Republican & Democratic Presidents. Except Regan, because in his limited time…he got it.

      As long as we continue pandering to life-long politicians, who may be doctors, too many lawyers, business people, etc. one day and experts in international policy, like Biden (joke) once elected, we will continue to remain a 3rd rate force for positive action internationally.

      Heritage should stop attempting to convince the lifer politicians of the right thing to do and attempt to councel them out.

    18. Timm M. Berg, South says:

      President Obama doesn't want liberty even in the United States, why would he want liberty in foreign countries, especially in that part of the world. He still sees himself as a world leader, even though no-one else does. He and Hillary (and she only does what he tells her to) have ruined every dealing they have had with anyone the have dealt with. Including dealings with China. The rest of the world laughs at the president (capital left out on purpose), Hillary, and the United States. Once a world leader, the United States is now a laughing stock because or this baffoon in our White House.

    19. Martin, Atlanta says:

      I usually agree with the Heritage analysis but not this time. The US has to do what's in our interests. Yes that means supporting dictators that further our interests. Yes we advocate for freedom but we have a need for moderate allies in the War on Terror and Egypt has been one.

      I am no fan of the administration and I wish they had a coherent strategy but to associate Egypt with Iran is not quite fair.

    20. Robert says:

      What Heritage fails to recognize is that Egypt is NOT the business of Obama and his like. The people of Egypt will either provide themselves with a decent government or not. It is not our business and staying out and minding our own affairs is the proper course. Anything that either Obama or his dimwitted VP says will only leave a bad taste with those few Egyptians that hear it.

      This does, however, provide the US with good cause to save the billions of dollars that we pound down the bottomless rat hole that is Egypt.

    21. Lonnie E Morgan Yaki says:

      Where is a clear world view by anyone in the Democratic Party. There is an imperative need to get the right response out to show concern for People and not despots. Clearly VP Biden who will lie about his friends in an election will lie about foreign leaders when the building is on fire. When will someone step forward and speak common sense? Oh … they have already… this site and other tea party spokespersons. To bad they have said the "right things" instead of the "bright things." We will soon throw away everything we thought was important and scramble to pick up the vital things we have thrown away.

    22. Bippy New Jersey says:

      The mixed signals, the cowardly "no-response" by Obama, the fool's comments by Biden, Hillary's about faces……symptoms of a disfunctional government right here in our country. And, the world expects us to respond to THEIR problems. Do they think Reagan is still alive? We need another Reagan, not a Coward like Obama.

    23. KC - New Mexico says:

      The comments from Sec. of State Clinton and VP Biden should be a concern for Americans and Egyptians. Our top leaders are out of touch with what the people need and desire. This is not about entitlements which neither country can afford, but it is about generating an environment that is conducive to business, jobs, education, etc. I question just how well the Egyptian leaders understand the issues. The American leaders are not in Egypt nor are living with the issues, therefore the question how do the American leaders know what the issues are. Again, who are the leaders in both countries listening to? In our country, the voters made their voices heard last November, Egypt chose a different route to get the point across to their leaders.

    24. Lil, San Diego says:

      This failure to act by the Obama administration is much too reminiscent of the failure of the Jimmy Carter administration during the Iranian crisis and the subsequent ceasing of the US Embassy in Tehran. This administration, obviously, can learn nothing from history!

    25. John Kay, California says:

      Obama cannot connect with the people. He is a statist. He cannot understand nor see the need to respond to "the people". To him, only governments exist. To Obama, a country is its Government, not its people.

    26. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Gosh! That's awfully scary! Imagine, gangs poised to take over the Government! Hey! Wait a minute! It is even more frightening what is going on in America while the Egypt Story wall paper deflects us away. That is half as dangerous as the Communist take over of America! Don't look now, but the Obama Administration wants to regulate the Internet! Hey just like in Egypt! Oh look! Egypt's president is an lying traitorous SOB too! Look they both oppress their own people! Both of them setting up unlawful Forms of Government! Monarchy over there, Communism over here!

      Conn, have you noticed the glaring absense of the word "Representative" whenever Demo Crats talk about Democracy? Yeah! We call for 'democracy' but that means let the SOBs take over over there. Egypt? That's nothing compared to the Progressive Agenda wrecking everything at home!

    27. Marcia Garadner (Wes says:

      I am appalled learning this morning that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has comfortably "forgotten" to report his wife's yearly income of $120,000 for the past 20 years having been employed at the Heratage Foundation. Your credability is extremely diminished by the fact that I, along with my husband donate our hard working, meager income to your organization and I now find you pay your employes over 4 times what I make!?!? I am so angry! Clarance Thomas needs to be removed from the Supreme Court for falsifying his oath to report all income, and be required to pay a BIG PENALTY of some sort! What kind of honest does this show of someone who is suppose to uphold our Constitution and do what's right. Well, you know what this means for my donations to you! ….and I plan to share this information with as many who will listen! ….say, on the Sean Hannidy show! Sorry people… this country absolutely needs credability and honesty restored! MLG

    28. john arizona says:

      I hear Ken Jarvis is blaming FOX News, Ruppert Murdoch and the WSJ for unrest in Egypt.

    29. janice sink says:

      I have a great concern that a void has been or is being created in the governing of Egypt. Does anyone see a more optimistic outcome for the people of Egypt? Is a true democracy, one which will fit there unique situation, possible given the time necessary for one to be established and thrive?

    30. Pete Kleff says:

      Why should anyone be surprised at the quandary in the Obama administration concerning Egypt? Combining administrative incompetence with ideological fervor can only lead to chaos.

    31. Al from Fl says:

      I fear that it is a big mistake for the U.S. not to intervene behind the scenes, with the Egyptian army, to secure a pro western government transition. As for ElBaradei, he was incompentent, in my opinion, as chief of the IAEA and I look upon him with suspicion in Egypt. Hopefully this admin will remember (socialists that know our gov't?) that a successful democracy requires an informed and disciplined citizenry – is Egypt ready for that? I doubt it but the Muslim Brotherhood will benefit from this chaos.

    32. Victor Barney, LeHig says:

      Failure? Didn't Obama in fact make a campaign promise to have a fundamental transformation of our government into Marxism(Like Islam, Anti-Messiah)? You know, through the "democratic process" that follow marxist love to quote! Watch November, 2012 when our women again go out in hoards to complete this fundamental transformation prosess!

    33. John L, South Caroli says:

      Obama and company are scared rabbits caught in the headlights who have NO idea what the people of the world want or don't want! They do NOT even understand, or care, what the American people want, and demand! Evidently, Obama and company have taken the Ben Franklin addage to heart! "To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and BE NOTHING!" Fear of how the USA "MAY" be "perceived" world wide has done nothing but weaken America by avoiding (preceived) criticism and thus, BEING NOTHING! This namby pamby foreign policy weakens us daily. Better to shoot first and be wrong than to not shoot at all and be dead! "Shoot" used metaphorically, of course!

    34. Hermes C Liberty NY, says:

      Some subtleties are in no way objectively understandables. In the wake of Obama' White House's occupation there is also "parallele or subtle Occupations" that dictate and mandate through him, many things, without most of us realize it. In a hidden agenda from a Moslem Sufi Order that includes their highest ranking, there is this theory or plan that tries to install influences in a zone that begins with Mauritania, passes by all Maghreb right to Egypt and…into the Middle East…and Israel. Whatever might have been the real causes of Tunisian unrest, the analysis of the deep causes of what is happening in Egypt now should not omit to include these a-priori unproven theories. The One World Religion idea, even tough ridiculous or unrealistic in first view, should not be left without scrituny as the Sufi might have scupulously hiding their plan, Obama' s host and the healthcare or Wall-Street re-organization, China's rise in a very specila way, might be, just as these African events moving towards the middle-East, some indications that something is being endeavored, with less or more success.

    35. Ron Brancatelli says:

      Hey that's why he won the Nobel Peace Prize…..NOT.

    36. Dwana Townsend says:

      I think the people of Egypt are brave to stand up to the oppression they have experieced for way too long. This is not about religion, it's about the same things you see happening in other countries. Politics, Policies, Poverty, Taxes, Joblessness, Freedom from the intrusion of government in their lives. It's the same thing that Americans are speaking out against and NO ONE is LISTENING.

      The President's address to the Egyptians was so hypocritical. He tells the leader to listen to the people's grievances, but yet when it comes to the US he is deaf. He tells the leadership in Egypt to turn back on the social networking, however if this country did as the Egytians and the Iranians, you can bet your last dollar that all communications would be shut down and Martial Law would be in affect!!! What a JOKE!!!

      These people are very brave to get out in the streets without the ability to bear arms, especially now that many prisoners have been released on the streets and the brutality of their own Police. I pray for their safety and hope this situation turns out well. The WORLD needs to pay close attention to what is happening not just in Egypt but in other places where we see citizens standing up for basic human rights. This has the potential to change the world and it could go either way.

    37. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      In 1952, the question was "Who lost China?" As Dick Morris said, if Obama doesn't

      stop coddling the Muslim Brotherhood, the 2012 question will be: "Who lost Egypt?"

      Obama should take a good look at the face in the mirror. Who lost Iran? Jimmy Carter. On Fox News Channel, they're saying that Cairo 2011 looks like Tehran '79.

    38. Harriet, Washington says:

      Obama and his minions have NEVER been known to hear the voice of the people, whether it be domestic or foreign. Should we be surprised at their latest ploy– IGNORE the voice of the people.

    39. toledofan says:

      I think, and probably everybody knows, that, Obama isn't going to interfere, won't speak out against the violence and probably has no conception of how an Ismaic Egypt would adversely affect the entire middle east ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood. I think that everyone knows how weak and inconclusive Obama is and because of those traits, he's allowed the world around us to close in and put us in peril as time goes on. I mean what if the Suez Canal is shut off, where will we get our oil, surely, we can't use our own or what happens when the violence speads to Europe and eventually back to us. It becomes clearer to me each day that the Democrats can never be trusted with running our country, put in charge of our security or the military. Our economy is fragile at best and any more convulsions are going to make life here much different than we now have it.

    40. russell trier, kulps says:

      For the most part I follow your comments and agree with your philosphy and message. However, your suggestions for change in Egypt are unfortunately naive and ignore the difference in those societies than the USA. Our system of government as put together by our founders is a wonder and blessing for our country but has been a failure, time after time, in different socieities particularly the very turbulent and violent middle east. I certainly am not endorsing or even approving of these quasi dictatorships or fascist governments but a more subtle and gradual approach to exposing other societies to our way of life offers the only chance of change.

    41. Richard H. Irish, Ed says:

      WHEN are you guys going to wake up, pull your head out of… the sand, and realize that Obama/Soetor will continue to do whatever is AGAINST America's best interests?

    42. Dave Provo, UT says:

      And why do the people of Egypt hate America? Because we are hypocrites who say we love freedoom then spend billions to prop up their oppressive dictator. Their support of Israel was purchased by our bucks. If they get freedom I hope it lasts more than the month they had it in Iran before the radical mullahs took over.

    43. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      I think this all started with Obama's visit to the Saudis during the campaign. You know, the one were he bowed to the King. I have another take on that "bowing". I think he was demonstrating the future technique his TSA was to use to "pat down" all non Muslim air travelers in the US. The medal he received was actually a listening device to replace the Churchill Bust in the Oval Office.

      This was followed by his trip to Ciaro. He made this trip without so much as a by-your-leave to his brand new Presidential duties and his Oval Office. He couldn't wait to get to Cairo and address his real constituency. He gave a speech, how quaint. This is of course his only definable skill.

      And, that brings us to current events in Egypt. Is anyone really surprised.

      Just connecting the dots.

    44. Sue Marie Detroit says:

      Muslim Brotherhood ruling Egypt and the rest of the middle east is scary. Is that the Obama's plan?

    45. Ann Winder Shelley I says:

      I see this situation and wonder what happened to the America that at one time would have been very vocal concerning the human rights of others. It is unthinkable that we, a christian nation care more about politics than other human beings. Is it any wonder that the countries in the middle east don't trust us. We will reep what we sow!!

      I appreciate the Morning Bell, thanks for all you do.

    46. Pingback: AntiObamaBlog.com » Egypt and the Failure of the Obama Doctrine

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    48. Henry says:

      Where is the Bush Administration? Rice, Chenny. Bring back the people that love AMERICA, AND WHAT AMERICA STANDS FOR……..FREEDOM, FOR ALL!

    49. Pingback: Egypt: Turmoil in the Middle East, Confusion in the White House | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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